Tuesday, May 19, 2020

05/20 Found Photos / à bout de souffle

Simon Davies / Found Photo
Simon Davies is a sculptor who works with found objects. It’s logical that that he would send me found photos. This month he mailed out 35 found photos to artists and friends. Yesterday he shared with me that he was a bit disappointed at the lack of response to his mail art piece. I offered that what excites us as artists doesn’t necessarily excite the rest of the population. I was already in the process of writing a blog entry on found photos. And, to a certain degree, on un-found photos.

We all know the story of the nanny of Chicago, Vivian Maier, and the incredible portfolio of her street work found in a garage sale, as well as its attendant lesson in copyright law. But never mind. My story to Simon was about helping someone empty a house where a couple had lived for 50 years and NOT finding any photos to illustrate that they had lived there. Never mind whether they had shared any intimacy. I was looking for any images he might have made of her. Or vice versa. Nothing. It left me empty, like it had been a life un-lived. For me finding photos is an anthropological experience, like finding cave art. I want to know everything about these people. Photography has a voyeur power on a larger humankind scale.

I loved the picture he sent me. I couldn't decide if the girl on the right reminded me of Amelia Earhart or a Kennedy. The house, of course, is straight out of an Edward Hopper fantasy.

Simon sent me another picture as well. This one had taken him aback a bit. An old girlfriend from high school looked him up and sent him a picture taken of them as a couple over 50 years ago. I loved the picture. It had the feeling of the time. It could have been a still from a film by Godard. It left me à bout de souffle indeed.

Simon Davies, Found Photo